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Garlic-and-Herb-Roasted Turkey

Servings: 10 to 12

This recipe from chef-owner Timothy Hollingsworth of Otium in Los Angeles creates a succulent turkey.


For the stock

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • Turkey neck and giblets
  • 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 large leaves fresh sage
  • 2 dried bay leaves

For the turkey

  • 1 cup puréed roasted garlic (from about 6 large heads)
  • Zest of 4 lemons (about 1/3 lightly packed cup), 2 cut into wedges after zesting
  • 2 Tbs. dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage, plus 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 112- to 14-lb. turkey
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 large heads garlic, halved
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, coarsely chopped

For the gravy

2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the stock

  • In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, turkey neck, and giblets, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, herbs, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, and cook to reduce with the lid ajar, frequently skimming off any fat that accumulates on top, about 13/4 hours. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large pot, strain the stock, and discard the solids.

Cook the turkey

  • In a medium bowl, combine the garlic purée, zest, thyme, the 2 Tbs. finely chopped sage, 2 Tbs. salt, and 2 Tbs. pepper. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Generously season the turkey cavity with 1 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Then, using your hands and starting with the turkey legs facing you, gently loosen the skin from the breast and thighs and pat the underlying flesh dry with paper towels. Scoop some of the puréed garlic mixture into your hands, and spread it under the skin, coating it as evenly as possible. Lightly tie the legs, and tuck the wings behind the back. Set the turkey on a rack breast side up in a roasting pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F.
  • Stuff the turkey with the lemon wedges, halved garlic heads, and coarsely chopped sage and thyme. Using a small spatula, evenly coat the outside of the bird with the mayonnaise.
  • Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, tent loosely with foil, and reduce the temperature to 325°F. Continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted in a meaty part of the breast or thigh reaches 165°F, about 21/2 more hours. Baste with pan drippings every 15 minutes in the last hour of roasting. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for about 1 hour while you make the gravy.

Make the gravy

  • In a medium saucepan, warm 1 cup of the turkey drippings from the roasting over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk, until the flour is combined and completely cooked, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and butter, and cook until gravy thickens, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like a thinner gravy, add up to 1/2 cup more stock.
  • Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.


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